Posted in Novels

Book 1 Chapter 3

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(credit to Bing.com images.)

Normally, I’m good with faces, so I can’t believe I don’t remember him that is if he is speaking the truth. It could be a way to toy with me.

“I don’t remember you.”

“I worked for a local farmer in the summer of 1999, you came out to the farm with a girl, she had blonde hair and blue eyes. Can’t remember her name but I didn’t forget you. We hung out on the farm and then went to a party that night.”

“Hmm, the friend has to be Dorie but I’m not remembering the farm or party.”

He looked at me with the most amazing grin on his face. My heart did a flip-flop like I have never felt before. Why did that just happen? What is it about those blue eyes that make me weak in the knees?

Mystery man walked over to me. He leaned on the table inches from my face. I could feel the warmth of his breath on me and smell the sweetest cologne. This man should make my blood boil with rage not set it on fire with lust. What the heck is wrong with me? He snatched me.

I stood up and stepped back. My heart racing and my hands shaking.

Annie-Profile-Manipulated

(credit to my daughter, it is her.)

“I do not remember you, I’m sorry. I just want to leave.” I spoke.

“I don’t know if leaving would be too wise. See, when I found you a man had been chasing you and when I went out earlier he was still out there only with several others. I am not the guilty one. I put you in that storage closet in case he happened to come to the door asking questions. You were hidden in there if he would happen to come to the door.”

I don’t know if he is telling the truth. I was knocked out. I suppose in a way it would make sense. Explains not being tied up and that he allowed me to come out and eat. No guns lying around. Now what do I say or do.

“Well, then I thank you for not leaving me there for him. Remember falling and my head hurting. Sorry. But how did you get me away from him if he hit me?”

A loud bang came from outside that made us both jump.

He ran over, grabbed my arm and led me back to the storage room. He shut the door behind us. Motioned for me to be quiet. He locked the door gently and put his arm on mine as if to tell me to stay still.

A knocking came from the front door. The door knob began turning. Several footsteps echoed on the hardwood floor. No one spoke. It’s like they knew we would be hiding.

I could feel a sneeze coming. Crap. Doing everything I could to hold it in. I sneezed my funny half sneeze. Mystery man covered my face up in case there was another one coming. I normally do sneeze more than once, luckily this time I did not. Did he remember that from years ago? Why can’t I remember?

A pair of footsteps came to the storage door and tried the knob. When it wouldn’t turn, the person tried shoving on the door but luckily it didn’t budge.

Mystery man motioned for me to follow him on hands and knees to the back of the room. He opened that metal box that smelled awful.

He motioned for me to crawl into the box. I shook my head no, not in that smelly thing. He motioned again with a rather angry look and whispered get in. I peered over the side of it and saw the bottom had been opened and there was a ladder leading down below. Just like out of an adventure novel! I smiled. Did my best to not think of the smell.

I climbed in. Placed my foot on the ladder rungs one after the other praying that they were not old and rickety. I looked up to see him closing the lid after him and locking it from the inside. Then when he got past the bottom of the box he closed that as well and sealed it with an extra bar lock.

It was airy and pitch black. It smelled musty and I could hear running water. My feet touched ground. After he was down, he took my hand and he led us closer to the water sound.

I hope those guys above don’t find the box. I wonder how this place got here. Many questions popping in my head. Exciting. Terrifying.

His hand feels warm and fits perfectly around mine. I don’t want to let go.

He dropped my hand, bummer.

Mystery man lit a small candle and placed it on a wooden table against the wall. He started opening tubs searching for something. He found a flashlight and shone it in my eyes. Bright light.

“I was hoping it wasn’t dead. We will head further down the tunnel just in case they find the passage way. I don’t think they will but better to be safe than sorry.” He said looking at me and then blowing the candle out.

“Why didn’t you just lock me in the room and answer the door?” I asked, thinking why go to all this trouble.

“Several of them, one of me if things went wrong.”

I didn’t know what to say or think. I am floored. This is like out of a spy movie. I guess I got my adventure I was wanting.

I shook my head in agreement and began to follow him down the cold, dark cave like tunnel. Just where it leads and what the story is behind this, I can’t wait to find out. My heart won’t stop racing from the unknown and Mr. Blue eyes.

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(credit to Bing.com images)

©JwlsMacRay 2016


 

Posted in Novels

Book 1 Chapter 1

Obeyville-Snoop-Book-Cover-1

Obeyville Snoop by Jwls Mac Ray (me) 🙂

If I had known this week would end up the way it did, I would have hand cuffed myself to my chair at home. Then none of the circumstances could have happened that cost me my best friend. Curiosity got the best of me. I must get her back.

I like to walk along the Sappa Creek, a beautiful creek that meanders through the south side of Obeyville, Kansas. Though these days not a whole lot of water fills the creek banks. It gets less and less every year. We need a few good steady rain seasons. Our farm fields need moisture. In this farm community, if they don’t have a good crop season than they don’t buy art, knick knacks, and books in my family store.

The winter brought little snow fall as well. It was like having Spring and now Spring is Summer. I believe Mother Nature is confused.

The kids don’t know what it is like to have a foot of snow. They think an inch is exiting. I haven’t had to buy snow boots in the last two years. I can’t say I miss the blistering cold temperatures but a good snowfall would be great. I miss sledding.

My friends and I would slide down the steep creek bank which zoomed us across the frozen water to the other side. We would giggle all the way and hope the ice wouldn’t break. It wasn’t but a foot deep but it would freeze one’s buns.

I like to explore; it makes me feel like I am ten again with no concerns. I suppose you would think a twenty-five-year-old woman would rather be chasing men and hanging out in bars, not me. I would rather be outdoors and learning. I’m like a sponge, soak in every bit of information I can. I have an entire room in my house devoted to books. I call it the Library Cave, some people have Man Caves, and I have a Library Cave.

Yes, I am a nerd. A reborn nerd. I did my share of partying and being on the wild side in my High School days. I want to be a nerd now, much more relaxing and better for your health.

My work day is spent inside catering to customers at least five days a week, sometimes more. My parents own the store but I manage it so they can live their golden years fishing or whatever they want. I’m a good child like that. Nah, I just didn’t want to go to college, yet. I know someday I will just have no desire right now.

I love my customers, but occasionally I get that one bad apple to ruin my day. I then head to the creek, stand in the middle of the thick lush trees, and yell at the top of my lungs to get my frustration out. The fresh air and exercise are an added blessing. A wonderful stress reliever. I sometimes bring a book with me and sit in one of the many trees along the creek and get lost in the story. I imagine I am the main character and it becomes one adventure after another. If only life was that way.

Today I walked to the edge of the bridge and made a sharp right turn where a well-traveled grassy path led into the dense trees. It’s a wonder that I like to come down here because I am extremely afraid of snakes. Luckily, I have not come across one, alive or dead. As I walked along the path I had to keep shoving the branches out of the way. They are getting overgrown, mental note to trim them back next time. Don’t want my path blocked.

A shiver ran down my spine from the chill of the shade trees. I wish I had brought a jacket. When I stepped out my front door after work, the sun was warm on my face. It didn’t occur to me that the thick of the trees would be a different story.

birch_branches (credit to Bing.com images)

 

The branches snapped loudly under my tennis shoes. The previous adventure the sticks kept poking in through the sandal holes. Glad I didn’t wear those again.

On the right side of the path is the old crooked tree that we would play truth, dare, or double dare when we were in grade school, it was coined the Love Tree, hence all the initials carved in it. I touched the initials that I carved into the tree of my first crush. Ah, the memories.

At the base of the tree a bunch of sting weed surrounds it. A person gets their skin next to that and it is like itchy non-stop for a few days. I laid in some without thinking once, never again. Itched in places no person should have to scratch.

A twig snapped behind me. I twirled around.

“Who’s there?” I asked.

No answer, and I couldn’t see a thing. Instant panic. I could run down the path I was going down, but then I will go deeper into the woods and may not find a way out. Whoever it is, came down the path I had. I looked around for a big tree branch to defend myself. Crap, all baby twigs.

Another twig snapped.

I could see a shadow of one person. He was tall, masculine built, wearing a hat and far enough away I couldn’t make out the face. He slowed his pace down. I moved behind the tree. I hope he didn’t see me or is far enough behind me that he may not even know that I am here.

k0014711387-815710 (credit to Bing.com images)

 

Duh, I spoke, so he must know the general direction. Idiot I am, number one rule don’t ask the hunter if they are there. Looking behind me I saw a fallen tree along the ground. I will crawl across. It leads to the other side of the creek. Then work my way around him and get back to the path and run like crazy back to my house. My house is only a block away, an easy run. I can get help then.

I ran for the log. Oh, please let me get out of here. I didn’t hear him moving anymore. The log was big enough for both feet side by side. Thank goodness it is only a foot above the water or I would say heck with it and take my chances with the mystery man. Objects in the air with narrow walking space is so not my thing.

I wobbled a bit making my heart race. I kept thinking about him being right behind me and grabbing me. I got to the end, stepped off the log and turned around to see if I could see him. If I can’t see him then maybe he can’t see me. The early spring leaves on the trees created a maze of hiding places. I couldn’t see anything and could only hear the breeze on the tree tops. I ran along the creek a good few minutes and then jumped across a narrow passage of water to get back to my side of the creek. I didn’t bother to look back. I had one goal in mind and that was to get back to the path. I ran through the tall weeds praying for no snakes. I heard feet hitting the ground behind me. My heart pounding and my mind telling me to run faster. I felt a hand grab my arm, I swung around, losing my footing and falling to the ground. My head smacked the ground with a thump, and then the world went dark.

 

©JwlsMacRay2016

Posted in Novels

Writing Challenges

My first NaNoWriMo challenge was November 2012. It was the first official beginning of my book #1 – Obeyville Snoop. I accomplished 5,510 words. My creative mind was not appearing for the challenge. I did have fun beginning the book, but lacked the discipline to write every day. I had post-it notes, apps on my phone, and to do lists reminding me to write but it didn’t help. I set the draft aside.

Then I saw Camp NaNoWriMo pop up in an email for April 2013! I had to do it. I could not resist. I went top speed on the first book again. The words flowed. I won with 50,219 words! Yay! It felt wonderful! I read afterwards what I wrote and couldn’t stop laughing. Nothing fit together. Definitely, a first draft!

Feeling inspired I signed up for July 2013 camp and began the second book in the series “Snoop In Overdrive.” Didn’t go well. Zilch!

Signed up for November 2013. Zilch again on book #2.

April 2014 rolls around, sign book#2 up and wrote 10,095 with a goal of 30,000 words. Thought maybe shorter novels would be better for me.

November 2014 I signed up book #2 again. Didn’t add any words. In fact, I tried revising first what I had written. Bad thing to do. Needed to finish it first.

Seems like the November challenges are not good for me. No creative spark. Maybe my mind is more interested in the holidays.

I skipped April 2015 but decided to do July 2015 with Book #1 revisions. I had already chopped so much out of Book #1 over the last year that the goal was now 25,000 words. Yep, short novels might be better for me. I revised a second time only 7,262 words.

Signed up again November 2015 with book #2. Zilch. I can’t stop signing up! LOL. It is like a habit now. Need the writing to be a habit. 🙂 We will see about this year. Maybe this will be where I finally stop signing up during November. LOL

I signed up for this April’s camp! It is going SOOO GOOD!!!!

I have officially revised everything I had cut long ago in Book #1. I am at 22,104 words with a 25,000 word goal! I feel great! Now comes adding the last 2,896 words from scratch. Which I am OK with because the book needed a different ending. I think I have been so hung up on that part and is why I never finish.

Lots of thinking and writing tonight!

The book will need a final complete revision but not because of the plot this time. The BONES are there! Finally!

Kudos to all you authors that can write several novels in a year. Maybe in the future for me but I don’t think this decade! LOL I’ll be tickled pink to finish this series of three books!

Maybe by 2018! 🙂

If all goes well, I hope to have Book #1 self published this summer and dive into Book #2 in July! Fingers crossed! I feel the writing muse is around me.

Have a great weekend! I hope to have great news on Sunday or Monday! 🙂

Obeyville-Snoop-Book-Cover-1

 

Posted in Novels

I Did It Again

I signed up for NaNoWriMo!

I have never won a November challenge. The last few years I have not accomplished writing even ten percent of the 50,000 word goal.

The only time I won was the April Camp challenge. I was determined then unlike the November ones. I don’t know if it is because of the holiday time so lots of distractions or what the reason is. But I am going to give it another try. Why not. Plus, I don’t like to give up. I say every year I am not going to do the November challenge but then I sign up. 🙂

20151020_084323(My photo writing this blog in my new teeny tiny comp book.)

20151020_084459 (I think tiny items are so cute. I purchased these yesterday at my youngest son’s book fair. We had his teacher conference.)

The first novel in my series of books to write has the basic bones it just needs some more “fluff” to make it fun and interesting.

Obeyville-Snoop-Book-Cover-1My current book cover for book #1.)

I am not sure if I will ever be able to write several books in a year. This first book has taken me since 2012 to write. I have the second book started but only a few chapters done. It is the book I signed up to do the challenge.

When I edited the first book I shrunk it from 50,000 words to about 25,000 words. There was a lot of extra stuff that made no sense. I was laughing when I read it, it was that absurd. 🙂 I imagine I will be more of a short Novella writer instead of a full novel writer.

Cheers to everyone doing the challenge!

Time to eat breakfast, waffles with peanut butter on it. Yum! 🙂

Posted in Novels

Pondering or Procrastination…who cares!

Obeyville-Snoop-Book-Cover-1 I am back to editing and writing!

I think I pondered enough, seven months worth! 🙂 Or was it procrastination? Either way it felt good to write again today. I like my first chapter for the first time in the three years I began this quest. 🙂 I think that is a good sign and I will run with it. Good vibes! 🙂

I need to adjust my type on the cover but currently I do not have the software to do so. I do like the cover for the most part but I think I need to ponder it some more. 🙂 LOL

I do believe unless I get very windy at the end of the book it will become a novella. I think that is more my calling than a lengthy novel. Time will tell. 🙂

laughing_kitten Just had to insert this funny cat laughing. It shows the mood I am in and when I am in a good mood the words flow! 🙂 Plus, who can resist a cute cat. Ok, don’t answer that.

smile bookNow for some fun passages from the first chapter to get you thinking about the book. Hopefully. 🙂

“The memories I have with my friends sliding down the steep creek bank zooming across the frozen water to the other side were the best times.”

“I enjoy finding new things to sell especially at garage sales. I blame my mom for that one, she started me young going to those. One person’s tosses is another person’s treasures, she loves to say.”

“On the left side of the path I could see the old crooked tree that we loved to play truth, dare, or double dare around. We nicknamed it the Love Tree.”

“I could drop to the ground and hide among the tall grasses. Sting weed and snakes. I do not like that combination.”

“My head thumped the hard ground and the world went dark.”

Stay tuned! 🙂

The adventure begins! 🙂

© 2015 by Jwls Mac Ray, DBA 2BCreative

Posted in Novels

Memories Can Be Inspiration

The current novel I am writing, Obeyville Snoop, centers around a mysterious underground cave system. In the middle of this cave is a stone town. The discovery leads to adventure and surprises.

cropped-8046327355_2f5b63ba911.jpg Credit to Bing.com images. My picture inspiration for my story.

The inspiration of this story came from a childhood memory of mine. About sixth grade a few of my classmates and I discovered the remains of a burned down house on a hill located in town. The shell of a door remained that led to a downstairs portion of the old house. At the end of the steps to the right a dirt tunnel led to a round dirt room.

The rumor was the man who had lived there was paranoid about a war starting in which we would be bombed. He built the underground tunnels and room so he could hide. We only found the one tunnel and room but there looked to be a possible other tunnel which was caved in.

Being the young kids we were we would sit in the round room and play Truth, Dare, and Double Dare! 🙂 We would be goofy but also try to scare the crap out of each other. On one side of the tunnel there was a tube-shaped object that looked as though it fell into the dirt from the house above that burned. I suppose it was a tank of some sort but we convinced ourselves it was a bomb missile that did not go off. It was more interesting to a sixth grader. 🙂

What remained of the house above was a few framed walls and scattered household items. A pair of overalls hung on a nail on one of the walls and we liked to believe it was the man burned up.

Imagination overload!

It made for fun after school exploring for a while. We stopped going up after we opened our mouths to our parents. Can you believe we listened? I like to think we spooked ourselves away. 🙂

I never did return to that spot and as far as I know it remained like it was until a couple built their beautiful home over it. This happened after I graduated, left for six years, and then moved back. So many times I wanted to walk up there and ask if they caved everything in. My imagination likes to think they restructured the tunnel and room and it is now under their house.

How cool would that be? 🙂

If you like this memory, I think you will enjoy my novel when it is finished. Thinking back on this time in my life I really think that’s when my imagination took off on its own adventure and my love for mysteries, adventures, and the unknown sparked my love of reading books. Those books ignited many daydreams in which I was the main character. I wish I had written notes on those dreams. I would have lots of material for stories and novels. 🙂

Doing research I came across this article by Stephen Wagner.

It is cool to think the possibilities of other discoveries. Granted a few stories are pretty far-fetched but that’s what makes a great adventure novel! It is one of the reasons I love to write. Love making up fun stories.

I hope my imagination will entertain many, if not at least a few.

Stay tuned, I will update as my novel progresses!

( If you click on the blue title, Obeyville Snoop,  it will take you to my website which will have the link to buying my book eventually.)

Posted in Ramblings

Blueberry Muffin Murder

th Credit to Bing.com images

This book is set in Lake Eden, MN. It is about a young lady named Hannah who co-owns a bakery named The Cookie Jar. She has a meddling mom who can not stay out of fixing her love life. Hannah is seeing two men. One is a cop and the other a dentist. She can not decide between the two. 🙂

Hannah tends to find dead bodies more than the average person. In this story the town people are getting ready for the big Winter Carnival when she finds the first dead body. The boyfriend cop warns her to stay out of the investigation. The cop has also named her other boyfriend as a suspect. Hannah can not believe it and thinks he is jealous of the dentist boyfriend. She does what she does best and begins to investigate. She also has the help of her realtor sister, Andrea. Andrea’s husband is also a cop. They do not let either cop know what they are doing.

Through out the book Hannah whips up her cookies and muffins and delivers them while questioning people along the way. The recipes are listed in the book for the reader to try them out. 🙂 They are simple and look yummy. I wrote them down and will give them a try. 🙂 If I can bake them, anyone can. 😉

The book is fun and entertaining with lots of great characters and plot twists. There is a whole series of these books by this author. I have read a few and enjoy each one. Eventually, I will read them all. 🙂 I discovered the author while visiting the local library.

Posted in Ramblings

Moving….makes me exhausted!

We purchased our new home!

Actually, it is our second home, we still have our first home in another town. It is currently being remodeled because it is only 100 years old. 🙂

Fun.

I call it our Puzzle House because it is two structures that were put together to form a home and then was added on several times. So much fun. I do love it. We say it is our family home because it is nice to escape to when we want to. 🙂

It is only four hours away. You could say it is our way of taking a trip only not to some fancy destination. The small town I grew up in is nice and I love that we can go home when we feel like it. It’s a way of holding on to some great memories and to still be able to experience small town living.

There are good things about living in a city and good things about living in a small town. I am very lucky to be able to have both. 🙂

To me that is a luxury worth more than any fancy vacation or vacation home. (But if I won the lottery I bet I could be persuaded to take a few vacations! LOL)

1116130915 The Puzzle House. Backside, last Fall.

Eventually, we will live there again but not until it is finished and most likely way down the road. We are playing it year by year. There are more jobs here to choose from then the small town so that is why we are currently happy here. It is nice to have that choice. Plus, we got tired of living in a remodel. Did that for twelve years. Very stressful.

Back to the new home! This one is only 5 years old! So nice to live in a finished home! Though we wouldn’t be us if we didn’t find a home that we still need to do a bit of work on. The plus side of this one is it has a full unfinished basement but the basement could easily be left alone. It is a nice basement, not dark and dreary like some. It is wide open. Plans are to put two more bedrooms, a hobby room, a bathroom, a storage room, and then the rest is the open area for a family/game room. Yes, it is that big! I love that it has two big windows and not the normal basement windows. Again, if we don’t want to finish it we don’t need to. We want to concentrate on the Puzzle House for now.

The main living area is two levels. The boys have their own level with a bathroom and it has a open balcony that overlooks the living room. Pretty cool. One cat even decided to take a leap off it. Scared the crap out of me! Cat just fine. Curious if he will try that again. 🙂

The main floor has our bedroom suite, yes suite. Love it! The living, dining, and kitchen are all open to one another. Really like that. The laundry room is close to the garage. We have a yard that has real grass and some trees! If you knew what our grass was like at the Puzzle House you would understand. LOL….it is a luxury to have grass here. 🙂

I hope to be organized by next week so I can begin writing more and reading! I still have some things to move at the duplex and then the fun of cleaning really good.

It has been a long few months. I tell you the process of buying a house is the most stress ever! I better win the lottery if I ever want to buy another house. I’m not going through all that again. Mostly, because our first lender was not a good lender. Our second lender was the bomb! She did excellent! She was local so it pays to stay local when shopping!

I hope everyone is enjoying their Fall! Happy reading and writing!

Posted in Oh This or That

Big Apple Hunter

Review of Maddie Cochere’s novel Big Apple Hunter

In Big Apple Hunter, Susan decides to go on a trip with her friend Darby to New York City. I love the character of Darby and his friendship with Susan. I admit at one point I was hoping for them to get together. But, as we know, well…you must read the first book, Sunshine Hunter, to find out what makes their friendship just friends.

portada-facebook_every_girl_needs_a_boy_bestfriend_ENG (Photo credit to Bing.com)

I think setting one of the scenes in New York made the story line even more exciting and adventurous. I so loved the bus tour of men. Who wouldn’t want to tour with a bunch of hot guys?

hot_guys( Photo credit to Bing.com) This is what I was picturing when I read about bus full of guys. 🙂 hee hee

I liked the mystery of the bad guys. It kept me guessing what their angle was clear through the book. There was enough mystery to keep me reading and wanting to know the answer.

The ongoing turmoil with her boyfriend makes me wonder if they will last as a couple. I keep thinking maybe they can’t get past their previous relationship disasters. All of Susan’s encounters with available men adds to the question of whether they will stay together. I like that with each book you just don’t know.

All the characters are interesting and likeable. I had all kinds of ideas going through my head about what each character might end up doing throughout the book.  It keeps you assuming things to the end. I believe that is what makes a good book.

I loved the ending. 🙂 Just read it, no spoilers from me.

I love the author’s style, it is witty, adventurous, and easy to read. The characters are like everyday people with added adventures.  She leaves the ending at a point I am ready to read the next book. 🙂

I see with each book where her writing becomes better and better. I like being able to see her grow as a writer. I believe that is what is so interesting about self-published authors, you can see their writing develop with each book. Thank goodness for the internet.

Check out her blog! She has her own witty adventures that will make you smile. 🙂

Posted in Puzzle House

Our Very Old House

This is the beginning of what will be our new bathroom at our house in my hometown. The last of the dirty slat wood! Yes, it is a very OLD house. Actually, it was two buildings that were put together way back when and made into a house. It looks to have been a second hand store at one time.

This is what we found when we took the siding off to put new on. We have asked around but no one remembers it. It might just be that long ago. Interesting.

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Back to the bathroom, the history of the bathroom has had many occupants before now.
First moved in:
Oldest son’s room (he was a toddler and didn’t sleep in it much) 🙂
An office
The daughter had it as her bedroom for years.
The two youngest boys shared it for awhile.
My dad’s room for about six months.
Lastly, a computer and art room.

It’s final purpose will be our wonderful big bathroom. I bet it takes a good year to get done. I am just glad we don’t have to live in it while we are working on it like all the other remodels. A short weekend will be just enough time and then high tail it out of there back to where we currently live. It has definitely been an interesting challenge. Hubby and I call it “An Adventure”! 🙂